No Hiding

My favorite line in the film Dunkirk is delivered by Geoffrey Rush’s character, an ordinary Englishman who sails his small private boat across the channel to help with the evacuation.

His boy has stowed away with him, but is overcome during the passage by the terror of what they are sailing toward.

Playing the stoical king-and-country Englishman to a T — and, I’d like to think, serving as an allegory for common sense — Rush calmly intones, “There’s no hiding from this, son.

In the way of good art, this moment in the film starkly illustrates the moral choice: the facts on the ground are the facts on the ground. The only open question is how we ought to respond.